In this issue
Double rainbows: person-centred counselling for the gay Christian
Andrew Smith describes the challenges of being a gay Christian counsellor
Mike Moss welcomes difference in the therapeutic relationship
Having choice: the power of trauma-sensitive yoga
An interview with Lorna Evans
Ritual in therapy (free article)
Maggie Fisher reflects on her experience of using ritual in therapeutic practice
The aesthetic: nature, art, therapy
Edwin Salter invites more focus on beauty
From the editor: The power of choice
I watched someone choosing chocolates for a friend, and I was envious of their friend, as the chocolate choices seemed excellent! When I was editing the articles in this issue of Thresholds, a theme seemed to emerge and it seemed to be that of ‘choice’.
Is it important to us that our therapist shares our spirituality, or is it more important that the therapist we see ‘gets us’? Would a ritual help a client work through something significant in their lives? And if so, how do they go about choosing and preparing for a ritual and how could we support them? Do we offer our clients choice in their therapy? If we work with groups, do we offer members of the group choice? Do we invite beauty into our therapy?
I sometimes feel overwhelmed by too much choice. I also revel in having choice. Living in an era of ‘pick and mix’ spirituality means we can enjoy the freedom of choosing elements that suit our personalities or appeal to us. Or, perhaps we struggle with elements of ‘our’ particular spirituality being adapted for various purposes (for example, I’m thinking of the secularisation of mindfulness, which troubles some Buddhist practitioners). I find myself getting bamboozled by some popular writing about meditation and want to get on my high horse and protest about what I perceive as misunderstandings; and then, sometimes, I think ‘Does it matter? If it helps people relieve their suffering… are my fixed views on “correct terminology” helpful or important? Not everyone wants to read ancient texts and follow traditions to the letter.’ Maybe there is more wisdom in learning from experienced practitioners, but maybe a simplified path is more suitable for people struggling in the here and now.
I have always liked Easter, and see it as an important time for reflection. Maybe we’re returning to the theme of chocolate too quickly. But, I’m not giving up chocolate for Lent – I’m choosing a poetry anthology, instead.1 The word ‘anthology’ comes from Greek and means ‘a flower gathering’. I enjoy anthologies and find it interesting to see which poems are chosen for inclusion.
1. Morley J. The heart’s time: a poem a day for Lent and Easter. London: SPCK; 2011.